Rafu Staff Report
ALHAMBRA — Jeff Koji Maloney was successful in his run for the Alhambra City Council’s District 3 seat, receiving 9,791 votes (73.0 percent) to retired law enforcement officer and court manager Mark Alan Nisall’s 3,621 (27.0 percent) in the Nov. 8 election.
The seat is currently held by Councilmember Gary Yamauchi, who endorsed Maloney as his successor. Maloney will begin his four-year term on Dec. 12.
“Not every other race turned out the way we had hoped,” Maloney said in a statement on Nov. 9, referring to the outcome of the presidential election, “but I’m thrilled with our big win last night! It was a great experience and I’m honored that voters here in Alhambra entrusted me with this opportunity. I won’t let you down! And a big thanks to all the supporters, friends, and family who kept me going. You guys really made this happen!”
Although there was some negativity during the campaign — “My opponent and some people that supported him were sometimes questioning my motives” — Maloney said he doesn’t dwell on it. “I was very gratified to see the results and the strong level of support that I got from the voters of Alhambra. I think it was because I did a lot of old-fashioned door-to-door campaigning and I had a very positive and hopeful message for the future of our city.”
As a councilmember, he said, “you have to make sure you’re keeping in touch with not just the voters but all the residents in the city, make sure you’re listening to them and that you’re responsive to their concerns.”
Maloney serves as chief staff counsel for the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy and is a member of the Board of Governors of the Japanese American Bar Association and the Board of Directors of the Go For Broke National Education Center. This was his first run for elected office, not counting student government.
His supporters included Rep. Judy Chu, Mike Eng of the Los Angeles Community College District Board of Trustees, West Covina Mayor James Toma, and former Assemblymember George Nakano, for whom Maloney worked as a field representative. He also had the backing of the Los Angeles County Democratic Party, which serves as the official state party endorsement for local races.
In announcing his candidacy, Maloney said, “By the end of 2016, we will have a two new councilmembers, a new city manager, and new police and fire chiefs. In 2018, three more councilmembers will be replaced due to term limits. The residents of Alhambra deserve new councilmembers who have the passion, dedication, and hands-on experience to help navigate the city through these uncertain times. I believe I am the only candidate in the 3rd District race who meets those qualifications.
“As chief attorney for one of the premier park agencies in Southern California, as an experienced city commissioner, and as a longtime community and civic volunteer, I know that I have the background and the skills to help lead our city into the future.”
City Council candidate Ken Toh, a retired fire inspector, lost to David Mejia, 5,962 (43.73 percent) to 7,673 (56.27 percent) in the race for the 4th District seat, currently held by Dr. Steven Placido. Mejia works for Internal Affairs at the LAPD.
In Los Angeles County Superior Court races, Susan Jung Townsend was elected to Office No. 84 with 1,177,189 votes (60.32 percent) to Javier Perez’s 774,273 (39.68 percent). A graduate of UCLA and Loyola Law School, Townsend has worked for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office for more than 18 years and has tried over 50 jury trials and thousands of preliminary hearings. Perez is a supervising criminal prosecutor.
Superior Court Office No. 158 — Kim Nguyen was elected to Office No. 158 with 1,023,097 votes (51.89 percent) to David Berger’s 948,499 (48.11 percent). A graduate of UCLA and Harvard, Nguyen is a deputy attorney general at the California Department of Justice and has handled civil matters in the state and federal trial courts, litigated cases in the appellate courts, and argued before the California Supreme Court during her 15-year career. She will be the only Vietnamese American judge actively serving on the Los Angeles County Superior Court bench. Berger is a deputy district attorney.
Other Los Angeles County election results:
Antelope Valley Health Care District Board of Directors — Kristina Hong was the top vote-getter among six candidates with 35,437 (21.77 percent). She was elected along with Abadahlah Farrukh (33,093, 20.33 percent) and Doddanna Krishna (29,136, 17.90 percent).
Beach Cities Health District Board of Directors — Vish Chatterji was last out of four candidates with 8,175 votes (11.74 percent). The other three, Vanessa Poster, Jane Diehl and Lenore Bloss, were elected.
San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District Board of Directors, Division 2 — John Siew Ching Leung lost to Steven Placido, 2,798 (39.39 percent) to 4,305 (60.61 percent).